Like most parents we worry about spoiling BookBairn. She is lucky to have so many generous people who love to give her gifts. It has re...

What do you buy the girl who has everything?

Friday, July 22, 2016 BookBairn Blog 14 Comments


Like most parents we worry about spoiling BookBairn. She is lucky to have so many generous people who love to give her gifts. It has resulted in a wardrobe I envy, a toy collection that has required that I invest in extra storage already, a doll's house that is truly every girl's wish and that's all before I even start on her personal library! What a lucky lucky girl.

But she's not as spoiled or as lucky as Petunia! In 'Petunia Paris's Parrot' written by Katie Haworth and illustrated by Jo Williamson, we meet a prim and pampered little girl who has everything she could ever wish for. Every year her parents ask her what she would like for her upcoming birthday. Previous gifts include a swimming pool, a city of toys, a thousand dresses, a bicycle with its own chauffeur and her own personal library (I don't think you can spoil a child with books - obviously, given BookBairn's ever-growing collection). So she requests a parrot. As you do. And unlike most parents, Petunia's parents don't roll their eyes and head to Toys R Us to pick up a stuffed toy parrot with fingers crossed that she won't notice/care. They buy her parrot. All the way from Peru. As you do.

But parrots don't perform on request: they can't be plied with exotic food, they aren't interested in pertinent topics of conversation, they aren't impressed by perfect piano playing and they do no enjoy preposterous outfits no matter how much planning has gone into them. The only thing Petunia's parrot would do was "squark". Frustrated by her non-compliant pet she finally asks "what do you want?" And the parrot asks simply that he wants to go home to Peru. And Petunia knows exactly what her next birthday wish will be. A trip to Peru! Where the parrot is finally happy flying with all his fellow macaws.


This is a hilarious story that is beautifully written. The use of advanced vocabulary such as 'pertinent' and 'perturbed' and 'preposterous' has the potential to seem slightly precocious but it is written in such a way that it is endearing to Petunia's character. It will also help little ones learn new words! I love the gentle use of alliteration throughout the story which you could chat about with older readers, but with little ones it just makes it a joy to read for the grown ups!

The illustrations are beautifully elegant with the majority of the book in shades of pastel pink, turquoise and grey. The introduction of the parrot adds a blast of colour - red and blue - to every page. Making him the new star of the show, eclipsing Petunia! The beautiful fold-out spread of when they reach Peru (pictured below) is a delight to behold. After such a limited colour palette these pages feel like the world has gone technicolour (making me think of Dorothy's arrival in Oz) - it creates a little bit of magic for readers.

Each page spread is packed full with details, particularly the lovely toy's shelf and the party scene. Lots of little eyes to pour over. This book feels slightly old-fashioned in its illustration - simple lines and visible brush strokes alongside the pastel colours, however, I find this quite refreshing as it stands out amongst more typical illustrations. It also helps to add to the pretty picturesque nature of Petunia's life. This book really is enhanced by illustrations that do more than simply tell the story, in fact, they embody it completely.

This is a  hilarious story with a valuable lesson about not always getting what you want. Hopefully, with BookBairn, we have a struck the balance between lucky and spoiled. And one thing is for certain, BookBairn is not getting a parrot!

So what do you buy the girl who has everything? Books. More books please. You can never have too many.
Mummy and BookBairn xx

This cheeky wee reader now likes to run away from the
camera. I think she just wants to read her books. Not
pose with them!


*DISCLAIMER* I was given our book for free for review purposes, however, all words and opinions are my own.


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14 comments:

  1. You won't catch me spoiling BookBairn!!!!!

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  2. Loving the sound of this! We try not to spoil our kids here, they certainly don't get everything they ask for! Thanks for sharing with #ReadWithMe

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    1. It's so hard not to buy lots of stuff though! BookBairn certainly isn't liking not getting everything she wants but fortunately she's still too little to ask for anything extravagant!

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  3. We also enjoyed this story and were very glad when the parrot got his happy ending :)

    #readwithme

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    1. He joined a Pandemonium of parrots! - Hehe - links with your post ;)

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  4. Sounds great, try not to spoil them but sometimes it is hard :) (dread when they start asking for extravagant things!!)

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    1. It's so difficult because I want her to have nice things. And I keep seeing her play with toys at friends houses and she loves them so I want to get her own ones. We will need to just learn to save up for things.

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  5. This sounds like a lovely book with an important message. Our kids never get spoilt - we made our daughter pay for her own ear piercing the other day, so she had to have the cheaper earrings. It's a good lesson in life!
    Popping over from Read With Me.

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    1. Haha! If only BookBairn would help out with buying her books! x

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  6. How fab! Sounds like such a fun book with a good life lesson! and I love love love that they have all those words beginning with P to go with Petunia's name LOL! thanks for sharing! #readwithme

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    1. It's such a fun book! I love a bit of alliteration too!

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